Seeing children in prehistory: a view from Bronze Age Ireland

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Despite growing strength in recent decades, an archaeology of childhood has often been overlooked by those studying prehistory. This is concerning because communities are enlivened by their children, and conversations with and about children often provide a critical arena for the discussion of aspects of societies which prehistorians are comfortable addressing, such as social structure, identity and personhood. Through an exploration of childhood as expressed in the Earlier Bronze Age burials from Ireland, this article demonstrates that neither written sources, artistic depictions nor toys are necessary to speak of children in the past. Indeed, an approach which tacks between scales reveals subtle trends in the treatment of children which speak to wider shared concerns and allows a reflection on the role of children in prehistory.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Pages (from-to)363-378
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


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